Bachelor of Arts
Roma, Gypsies, Identity, Europe
This thesis primarily deals with how the ongoing political transformations in Central and Eastern Europe have affected one particular group, the Roma or Gypsies. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, many initially greeted the radical reconfiguration of hegemonic governmental structures with nationalist zeal, and the democratization of socialist regimes was universally hailed as a victory for all. But for the Roma, a historically persecuted pariah group continually surrounded by misconceptions and Orientalist stereotypes, the radical transformation to "Western" capitalism and democracy must not be viewed in such a positive light. As an ethnic group the Roma exhibit a wide-ranging cultural variation, from the Sinti in Germany (who have been integrated in the German context for centuries) to Vlax Roma (enslaved in modem day Romania until the mid 19th century). Collectively Roma exhibit a tenuous identity and little solidarity. In this thesis I shall deal with two contexts: post-socialist Russia and socialist Hungary. In both environments the Roma studied have shown a remarkable tendency to culturally adapt to the changing post-socialist conditions.
Bobick, Michael, "The Roma of Eastern Europe in Transition: Historical Marginalization, Misrepresentation, and Political Ethnogenesis" (2002). Honors Papers. 498.